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vulgarkitten

Goldfish Staying at Bottom of Tank

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Hi all

Have a 30 gallon aquarium for 2 goldfish (see picture) one midsize, and one smaller (both female I believe). In the last day or two, they have begun resting at the bottom of the tank most of the time (the bigger one more than the little one). They do swim around for food pretty energetically though.

I do frequent water changes (every 3-4 days, 50+%). All the levels are 0 except for nitrates, which I can't seem to get down, no matter how many water changes I do. Nitrates remain 0.25-0.45. Each water change, I use Tetra EasyBalance and Prime by Seachem. I feed them a pinch of New Life Spectrum All Purpose Formula pellets twice a day, once in the AM, once in the PM. Water temp is 70 degrees, using a water heater. Have airstone, have filter.

I'm wondering if I need to do a filter change? There was a power outage recently, and the tank was without power for about 4-5 hours before I got home and got the generator up and running. I took the filter out and rinsed it before putting it back in, but wondering if this was too long and maybe bad bacteria built up? Or is it the nitrates? And what more can I do to get them down?

Neither of them seem *visibly* bloated or sick though the larger of the fish does seem to have a darker red line on her underbelly ridge, could be from sitting at the bottom. 

Help would be greatly appreciated! Love these beauties, and the bigger one has been with me for 4+ years!

Goldfish.jpg

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Welcome!

Honestly rinsing the filter, especially if you did it with tap water, probably did more harm than good and could cause a cycle bump.  The power outage could have impacted water quality as well, but we need some more data to tell.  Your nitrate numbed doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, in the form below please be sure to include which test kit you used so we can figure out what scale they’re using to measure and convert to PPM, our normal unit on this forum :)

For the water quality, we want the levels BEFORE a water change, so we can see how the filter is functioning.  If you’ve done a water change today, please wait a day or two and retest so we can get some better parameters that aren’t skewed by it being fresh water from the tap that is being measured erroneously.  Make sense?

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank)

* Nitrite Level(Tank)

* Nitrate level(Tank)

* Ammonia Level(Tap)

* Nitrite Level(Tap)

* Nitrate level(Tap)

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

* Water temperature?

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

* How often do you change the water and how much?

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

* Any new fish added to the tank?

* Any medications added to the tank?

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

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Do NOT replace the filter medium.  That will eliminate your cycle.    You only need to replace filter medium when it stats to fall apart.  

I don't know how long your tank has been running, but in a a well-established tank the nitrifiers live in a matrix produced by the microbes, forming a biofilm that you can't remove with a water hose.  If you soaked the filter medium in untreated water for a long time, you could poison some of the nitrifiers  with chlorine.  I recommend emptying the dirty water in the filter and rinsing the medium with water you removed from the tank each time you do a water change.  

What do you use to measure nitrate?  If the test is accurate, you have virtually no nitrate, and certainly not  the 20 ppm which most tanks carry.  

We really need need the information on the form Arctic Mama posted to figure out what ails your fish.  Just quote her post and type your answers after each question.  

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Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank)

0

* Nitrite Level(Tank)

0

* Nitrate level(Tank)

5 ppm

* Ammonia Level(Tap)

o

* Nitrite Level(Tap)

o

* Nitrate level(Tap)

o

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 

7.0

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

7.0

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

API drops

* Water temperature?

70 degrees

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

30 gallons, running for 3 months

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

TopFin PowerFilter model 30G

* How often do you change the water and how much?

50+% every 3-4 days

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

2 days, about 65%

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

2 common goldfish; 1 is about 5 inches, one about 2.5 inches

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

I add Tetra EasyBalance and Prime by Seachem each water change

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

 I feed them a pinch of New Life Spectrum All Purpose Formula pellets twice a day, once in the AM, once in the PM

* Any new fish added to the tank?

The smaller goldfish is the newest, added a month ago

* Any medications added to the tank?

No medications

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

I have moved the larger goldfish to a quarantine tank (ie. 5 gallon stainless steel pot - all I have at the moment), added 10 tsps of aquarium salt and about a tsp of API BettaFix, along with the same water purifiers I use in the big tank. 

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

Rash on the underbelly of the larger fish and red vein-like streaks in fins; acting erratic at times

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Larger fish stays on the bottom of the tank, though will swim around actively to eat, rarely comes to the top of the tank; has fins clamped most of the time. Smaller fish sticks with the larger fish, though does come to the top of the tank and seems more generally active and has no rash

Not sure what else to do!

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Update: big fish in quarantine tank still; changed water; 5 tsps aquarium salt, some Tetra EasyBalance and Prime by Seachem, and on recommendation of pet store attendant, a tablet of Lifeguard by Tetra. Fish was doing not so bad before water change, fins weren't clamping as much. With water change, fish is clamping more, does not seem to like the new water with the Lifeguard. Should I revert back to just the aquarium salt and API Bettafix? Fish *seemed* happier with it...

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Based on the information we have, it looks like your poor bigger fish has a bacteria infection.  The medications you’re trying aren’t really effective for that, we will need to acquire antibiotics to deal with it and, to be honest, it’s bad enough that it’s a dice roll as to whether we can reverse it.

 

Just keep the water impeccably clean for now. No salt right now either.  Do you have a quarantine tank or big plastic bin we can use to treat the larger fish?  I’m not seeing any reason we need to dose the main tank, and it takes more meds to do it anyway.

 

The antibiotics we need to order online or pick up from your local fish store are Metroplex (metronidazole) and Kanaplex (kanamycin).  Amazon.ca should have them.

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